Jaguares scored eleven tries as they sealed their debut home victory in Super Rugby, running out 73-27 winners over the Kings on Saturday.
Leonardo Senatore starred with three tries in the game while Juan Martín Hernández, Santiago Cordero, Nicolás Sánchez, Manuel Montero, Matías Alemanno, Emiliano Boffelli and Martín Landajo were also scorers for the hosts.
In reply the Kings went over on four occasions with Chris Cloete, Stefan Watermeyer, Thembelani Bholi and Steven Sykes on the board.
Many were expecting a comfortable night for Jaguares and so it proved as right from the kick-off they looked set to run away with matters.
Their first try came inside two minutes when the ball found its way to centre Hernández, who showed his class on the wing to chip over and ground. Sánchez coolly slotted the conversion as the statement was already made by the home side. Much more was to come in the first-half.
After an Elgar Watts penalty, a smart line off a ruck from Cordero saw him race over for 14-3 and then on 16 minutes, number eight Senatore joined the fun with his team’s third try, this after a Sánchez snipe. The latter added the conversion and suddenly the scoreline was 21-3.
The holes were opening in the Kings’ defence and Sánchez was their fourth try-scorer as the lead grew to 25 points with 18 minutes played.
Fortunately for the Kings they halted the momentum when flanker Cloete went over via a driving maul on 26 minutes. But their reprieve was short-lived as inspirational Jaguares captain and hooker Creevy did the same soon after to take the scoreline out to 33-8 in Buenos Aires.
There was still more to come before the interval too as a lovely pass from Sánchez set up Montero for the score on the left wing. However this time it was the Kings who hit back when an intercept from Watermeyer of Boffelli’s pass near halfway saw him make it 40-15.
Things did not improve for the Kings immediately after the turnaround when wing Luzuko Vulindlu was yellow carded for taking out Boffelli in the air. And two minutes later that offence was compounded when Alemanno powered over for a converted effort that took it to 47-15.
Again the Kings did respond, this time through Bholi, but one sensed they were tiring and so it proved as Boffelli’s try on 50 minutes was the catalyst for more scores coming, the next from Landajo before Senatore grabbed his brace off the back of a scrum for 68-22.
The international number eight was now sniffing a possible hat-trick at Velez Sarsfield and he didn’t have to wait long to seal his treble as once again fly-half Sánchez was the Jaguares’ provider, setting up Senatore with a well-timed flat pass for an easy run-in wide on the left.
Surprisingly though it was to be the Kings who had the final say when Sykes powered over with two minutes remaining for his side’s fourth try to salvage some pride for the visitors, who will head home licking their wounds.
Tries: Hernández, Cordero, Senatore 3, Sánchez, Creevy, Montero, Alemanno, Boffelli, Landajo
Cons: Sánchez 9
Tries: Cloete, Watermeyer, Bholi
Cons: Watts 2
Yellow Card: Vulindlu
Jaguares: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Matías Moroni, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Manuel Montero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Javier Ortega Desio, 6 Tomás Lezana, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Matías Alemanno, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy (c), 1 Santiago García Botta
Replacements: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Jerónimo De La Fuente, 23 Lucas González Amorosino
Kings: 15 Jaco van Tonder, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Luzuko Vulindlu, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 CJ Velleman, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (c), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Justin Ackerman, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 James Hall, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Leighton Eksteen
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Referees: Federico Anselmi, Juan Sylvestre
TMO: Santiago Borsani
Photo credit: UAR/Gaspafotos/Juan e Ignacio Gasparini